Quercus infectoria (nutgall) has been reported to possess antimicrobial activities against a wide range of pathogens. Nevertheless, the biofilm removal effect of nutgall extract has not been widely investigated. In this study, we therefore evaluated the effect of nutgall extract in combination with cetrimonium bromide (CTAB) against preformed biofilm of Salmonella Typhimurium on polypropylene (PP) and stainless steel (SS) coupons in comparison with other sanitizers. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and the minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) of nutgall extract and surfactants (CTAB and sodium dodecyl sulfate; SDS) were assessed. CTAB showed a more efficient antimicrobial activity than SDS and was selected to use in combination with nutgall extract for removing biofilm. To determine the biofilm removal efficacy, the PP and SS coupons were individually submerged in 2x MBC of nutgall extract (256 mg/ml) + 2x MBC of CTAB (2.5 mg/ml), nutgall extract alone (256 mg/ml), CTAB alone (2.5 mg/ml), distilled water, and 100 ppm sodium hypochlorite for 5, 15, and 30 min. The remaining sessile cells in biofilm were determined. Overall, the greatest biofilm removal efficacy was observed with nutgall extract + CTAB; the biofilm removal efficacy of sanitizers tended to increase with the exposure time. The SEM analysis demonstrated that S. Typhimurium biofilm on PP and SS coupons after exposure to nutgall extract + CTAB for 30 min displayed morphological alterations with wrinkles. This study suggests nutgall extract + CTAB may be an alternative to commonly used sanitizers to remove biofilm from food contact surfaces in the food industry and household.
Keywords: Quercus infectoria gall extract; Salmonella Typhimurium; biofilm removal; food contact surfaces; surfactants.